Top mobile development trends to watch for in 2020
The mobile app industry is growing swiftly! According to the latest US statistics, an average person spends 2 hours, 55 minutes on a smartphone; about 90 percent of this time is in apps. The going mobile tendency will rise, as the number of mobile app downloads worldwide is steadily increasing.
While mobile app developers bustle around breakout ideas and new tech stuff, businesses are on the lookout for paths to grow their success. What will keep them tuned in the coming year?
We have compiled the top 10 trends in mobile app development we hope to see in 2020 and years ahead. Looking into our crystal ball, we picked the hottest trends, and not because they are in vogue. These trends are actual, perspective and lucrative.
Forewarned is forearmed. Mobile security and data privacy is the most adverse app trend for many years. Smartphones and apps are the pet-target for hackers to steal credentials, spy, and spread scam ads. There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds worldwide. We may be unaware of it unless we spot personal data leakage or suspicious app behavior.
The top contributors to app vulnerabilities remain more or less the same from year to year: human factors (user’s heedlessness), flawed app code, poor username and password, insufficient authentication, weak data encryption, improper SSL/TLS validation, lack of binary protections, and many others.
In the coming years, we expect more sophisticated mobile threats broadening in the distribution and delegitimization of common security measures. To avoid putting personal and business data at stake, mobile developers and users will have to unite in an alliance to keep an eye on the security of devices, mobile apps and data against any kind of threat.
#2 AI and ML
Mobile app developers have a lot to gain from what Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can offer. This is because of the technology’s ability to optimize mobile app development and improve user experience. Machine learning algorithms help to analyze user behavior patterns to enhance audience engagement, as well as optimize search on the app to deliver contextual results and personalized ads.
AI-driven Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa have already become our mobile companions. Though virtual assistants, motion detection and facial recognition, and sound speech recognition already found their place under the sun, 2020 hopes they will bring a more personalized experience for mobile users.
More players will enter into the nascent industry of smart clothing and sensors. Powered by machine learning, apparel and footwear will experience an explosion in healthcare and pharmaceutics, sports and fitness. Clothes infused with sensors send biometric data to the mobile app and provide more in-depth information as compared with smart watches and fitness bands.
Mobile app security remains a sensitive trend carrying over the years ahead. We believe AI will be under special focus to find the around-the-clock means to outwit cyber criminals.
Letting the Internet of Things (IoT) make our lives smarter is a chic mobile trend. Today, with just a few taps on the smartphone, we remotely control heating and AC in the building; manage security roller shutters; submit gas, water and electricity readings; pay utility bills; and maintain video surveillance in physical facilities. It makes us feel so comfortable in the smart home.
Beyond smart houses, a variety of IoT apps have already delivered superior benefits in retail for a better shopping experience, in logistics – for streamlined supply chain management, in healthcare – for remote patient monitoring. The motto of any IoT-driven app will be the same – to make everything around us function smarter via a smartphone or any other connected device over the Internet.
Today, there are about 26.66 billion connected devices around the world. By the year 2025, this number will triple. This will surge developers to explore untapped application areas and create even more robust IoT apps, especially if to couple IoT with such application development trends as Blockchain and predictive analytics.
#4 Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is more than a mobile game and entertainment today. Though in its infancy stage, the immersive technologies have already penetrated into medicine, transportation and logistics, fashion and retail, and many other sectors. What one sees in real life can be creditably augmented with digital content via a mobile app.
The examples of such incredible AR apps as Snapchat (multimedia messaging), IKEA Place (virtual furniture), and GUCCI (sneakers try-on) show two sides of AR – how creatively and potentially practical AR can be leveraged.
From a tech perspective: keeping up with an increasing AR popularity and soaring demand for a more awesome experience, Google and Apple strive for the robustness of their SDKs (Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore). They succeed so far. Some of the new features include better renderings, predictable tracking, cool measurements and 3D detection. Mobile developers can’t wait for what comes next to create killer apps for app stores and potential customers, who are also in high anticipation.
What started with e-Commerce – to replace bricks-and-mortar store operations – is determinedly moving to mobile. Embracing the m-Commerce mobile trend, the retail industry will particularly leverage the power of mobility to the fullest in order to cross- and up-sell.
There is so much to implement in a mobile way: eye-catching gallery of goods along with discount programs and teaser auctions, a shopping cart with additional items suggestions, delivery and return options, and integration with preferable payment systems.
Streamlined shopping experience, increased sales and customer retention – businesses are craving this. Obviously, some back-office operations will continue to run on desktop devices or in the cloud because of omni-channel customer engagement and related marketing efforts.
The hospitality industry is one more candidate to capitalize on mobile commerce. The disruptive potential for reshaping the way restaurants, cinemas, hotels and event organizers traditionally operate is to introduce a trendy geo-fencing technology. When a consumer approaches a geo-fenced area, the app shows relevant information about nearest events, available tickets and spaces, and socializing options, just to name a few.
#6 Mobile wallet
Though paying via a mobile is a relatively new concept, Amazon, Apple and Google already grasped the lucrative opportunity to digitize the wallet, and more merchants will join the cause.
Whether a mobile wallet will completely replace a leather wallet, the future will show. Still, the demand for a unified wallet is already tangible with so many plastic cards being toted around. Having a mobile wallet on the phone gets as cardinal as having contacts list at hand.
All kinds of incentives have always been the holy grail to attract more consumers. Given this, hospitality, traveling and retail will start to link rewards and loyalty points to mobile wallets to spur widespread adoption of their offerings.
What the user will need is to download a mobile wallet app, follow the instructions to pass many-factor authentication, link cards to one account, and then it’s off to shopping, booking tickets, transferring money to others, and so on. Again, security remains vital to protect the user’s financial data.
Despite the many controversial opinions surrounding Blockchain, it has already become a game-changer for insurance, logistic, financial, healthcare, charity and real estate organizations. Due to its transparent architecture, non-copyable data distribution, and decentralized data storage, Blockchain allows achieving unprecedented transparency in business performance and faster data processing and sharing.
Granted, Blockchain evolves beyond digital currency and crypto-wallets. It is equally beneficial for many uses. In 2020, mobile app development is likely to be around decentralized apps (DApps). Being a P2P free-of middleman authority solution, DApps offer a more convenient, faster and secure way to connect people and share any kind of data.
Moreover, Samsung, HTC and Sirin Labs already released smartphones based on Blockchain. They include such features as DApp store, crypto wallet, cold-storage wallet and many more. Being still skeptical about the whole crypto-boom, Apple approached Blockchain the other way around. It filed a patent to enhance the security of its iPhone. The Blockchain smartphone trend will evolve for sure, and more Blockchain-centered apps will make a splash soon.
#8 Predictive analytics
Admittedly, predictive analytics is at the core of many data-driven applications to forecast future growth based on historical and current data. When it comes to data visualization, mobile apps considerably succeeded in not lagging behind web-based and desktop platforms thanks to modern mobile UI/UX trends and advanced native and open-source algorithms.
The same data is now available on the mobile devices across visual dashboards, scenarios with business drivers, comparison and visualization of the biggest opportunities and risks, simulation of created forecasts under diverse market conditions, comprehensive reports, and many other interactive elements.
With increased data cycling around, predictive analytics will be in the center of attention for data scientists, business analysts and mobile developers not only in 2020 but for years ahead. In an attempt to support better decision-making and effective strategy planning, developers will strive to combine predictive analytics with ever-actual AI and IoT.
#9 Cloud-based apps
Cloud computing or developing an app in the cloud is a beloved option for many mobile developers. To create a highly functional app, the mobile phone needs to be optimized for such aspects as battery usage, storage space, etc. It is easier to develop resource-intensive and scalable apps in the cloud, especially when it comes to speech recognition, video streaming, and massive amounts of data.
Whether it is a native or hybrid app, cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Cloud offer enough options to develop, test and deploy the apps in the cloud. Depending on the local infrastructure capabilities and app nature, the developer decides what is best to opt for: PaaS, IaaS or SaaS.
Cloud computing will continue to reign supreme for its data backup and recovery capabilities, flexibility, and faster time-to-market. A win-win play for mobile developers and businesses.
#10 Android instant apps
Google Android instant apps are the next booming trend in mobile app development. Instant apps serve as the lite versions of native apps and help users to bridge the “What is the app for” gap. The user clicks the link associated with the app wherever it is displayed, and Google instantly shows the app capabilities for the user to examine and decide whether the app is worth a download.
Instant apps pose a new horizon of opportunities for everyone. Mobile developers use the same dev base for an installable app and an instant app without a need to develop two separate apps. Android Studio helps them. Business owners benefit from a spontaneous user response, wider user base, and social sharing.
What is yet to roll in
Our top 10 trends for mobile app development do not complete the list. As long as the mobile industry flourishes, more trends will surface to rule the mobile market and consumer demand and preferences. To develop an outstanding app, it is not enough to keep up-to-date with the latest mobile app trends. The app finds its way to the audience only if developed by proficient developers who know all the how-to tricks.